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Date posted: 2 May 2012
Michael O'Loughlin has lived an extraordinary life: a premiership player; Sydney Swans 300-gamer; the first Indigenous coach of the Australian Institute Sport - Australian Football League Academy; and a loving father of three.
But as he discovers on the SBS series Who Do You Think You Are? there's much more to his extraordinary life than even he knew. In fact, there's something about O'Loughlin which everyone can connect to.
As he traces back his Indigenous ancestry and re-steps his great, great, great, great grandparent's journey he discovers that they were pioneers in their time - much like the O'Loughlin of today.
O'Loughlin returns to South Australia where he grew up to retrace the bloodlines of his family. He sees a family tree of his mother's maternal line, which stretches all the way back before white settlement to his great, great, great, great grandmother, Kudnarto.
An incredible person, she was the first South Australian Indigenous woman to marry a white settler named Thomas Adams - who would fight and fight hard for Aboriginal rights following his wife's early death.
O'Loughlin also investigates his father's side and a family legend that connects him to Australia's fifty dollar bill.
He discovers a life-changing ancestor, his great grandfather Milerum, who was one of the last Aborigines from the Coorong and Lake Regions to move to a Christian mission. Milerum's legacy was to preserve the memory of a disintegrating culture.
'I have gone from a middle aged man who knew bits and pieces [about my people and culture] to a man now who can stand up in front of hundreds and thousands of people and say this is where I'm from and these are my people.'
Source: Swans Media